Latta, South Carolina, was a tiny town stuck in a simpler time with tree-lined streets and a downtown post office and library. Everything in walking distance and everything quiet (of course, we were there on a Sunday), tucked just far enough away from I-95 for it to be sheltered from Interstate visitors. Courtney and I left the wedding reception at about 10 p.m. and made the 35-minute drive to Abingdon Manor - a Greek Revival mansion set on a lush yard complete with magnolia trees and an enviable herb garden.
The next morning Courtney and I awoke, feeling pretty well-recuperated from the previous day's festivities, and readied ourselves for church at the quaint Methodist church down the street. We were the obvious newbies in the small congregation, and after the service, Ms. Iratene Henry welcomed us, inviting us to their monthly pot-luck lunch. It didn't take much to convince us, as we hadn't at that point given much thought to where we would have lunch on a Sunday in sleepy little Latta. Ms. Iratene was a very gracious host, introducing us to everyone and quickly making us feel like celebrities (a few folks had seen our picture in the Florence Daily News that morning).
Lunch was a great mixture of summer food with squash casserole, shrimp and grits, deviled eggs and an incredible creamy pecan cake for dessert. We had a wonderful time, and it was a perfect reminder of the generosity and graciousness of small-town America - something Courtney and I have been away from for a long time now.
Monday morning we rode to Charlotte with Courtney's parents and brother, Chris. We connected in Atlanta for the 9-hour plane ride back to Honolulu. Although we were dreading returning home (mainly because it means returning to work), arriving in Honolulu to 75-degree weather and a light Hawaiian mist was definitely refreshing.